NHL Metropolitan Division Power Rankings: Capitals Are Elite

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Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Metropolitan Division Power Rankings: #5 – Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been a disappointment so far this season. Many pundits had them as contenders to win the Metropolitan Division. So far, they have yet to live up to those lofty expectations with a 4-4-0 record through eight games. What’s surprising is how they’ve been bad.

The Penguins defense was their biggest issue going into the season. Eight games in, they’ve allowed just 16 goals. Kris Letang has been outstanding. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has kept them in games so far. Their blue line isn’t producing, but it has been solid so far in terms of not allowing goals.

RELATED: Scouting The Penguins

Their biggest issue so far has been what was supposed to be their greatest strength: their forwards. Center Sidney Crosby has just three points. Forward Phil Kessel has just four points (though he has three goals). Center Evgeni Malkin has seven points in eight games.

What’s concerning is that the Penguins have not been strong possession wise. They rank 22nd in the league with a 48.4% even strength CF%. That’s unacceptable for a team that is as talented as the Penguins are. The Penguins have dug themselves into a bit of a hole early on. It’s a hole that they are fully capable of getting themselves out of. However, the clock is ticking. While you can’t win the division in October, you can lose it with a slow start.

Next: #4: Philadelphia Flyers